This and That, Springing Ahead Edition

This And That
This And That

So yesterday we entered the time of year colloquially known as “Daylight Savings Time.” For those readers who live in a place civilized enough to not do daylight savings; the concept is that if you cut off the top two inches of a sheet of paper and tape it to the bottom of the sheet, you make the sheet longer.

The people who came up with this idea run the world.

Meanwhile, in the not daylight savings time world, Winnie and I have been busy as always having our adventures in living. Winnie continues to swim regularly. Her current routine is to get up early every weekday morning and get to the pool when it opens at 6:00AM for one hour of swimming and a quick soak in the hot tub. Then off to her job. She tries to get me to go but I’m already leaving for work at 6:00 so, regretfully, I am unable to exercise before actually finishing my second cup of tea.

Weekends Winnie is normally able to drag me, excuse-free, to the pool on both Saturdays and Sundays so I can keep in shape. We’ll see how this schedule holds up over the summer when my plans include being on some type of water-craft, in the water, on weekends.

I’ve also been busy with my Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification program. I’m really enjoying the classes for their format and for the chance to meet interesting people as classmates. The all-day class format is structured but relaxed as the morning session is lectures, then in the afternoon we have group practicums of ten minute presentations using the day’s topic. I learn best by actively doing things, so this format is nearly ideal for me. So far all instructors have been excellent and my classmates seem to be open-minded and actively interested in helping other people as teachers.

My next big part of the program is to observe on-going English as Second Language (ESL) classes. I need a minimum of formal 18 hours observation in any of a dozen different programs around the area. I’ve applied and hope to be starting these observations this week or next. Graduation is at the end of May if I can complete all requirements by then.

Not to complicate our lives; we’re also actively involved in major home improvement projects. Over the Christmas holidays Winnie decided that this year we needed to do home improvement things. It’s been nine years since we last painted (at move-in) so we needed to re-paint as well as replace the nearly 30 year-old carpeting throughout the house.

We started with our basement den the day after New Year’s.

Tearing Out Carpeting
Tearing Out Carpeting

We emptied the room including everything on the walls. We repainted (same color as before), then ripped out the old carpeting and linoleum, and replaced it all with floating wood flooring. The engineered wood ended up being trickier to install than we expected and it took two full days over the weekend to finish. Then we had to put down the finish moldings, move all furnishings back in and re-hang everything. We did a complete redecorate with our wall hangings, with the result that some parts of the newly painted walls looked like pegboard by the time we agreed on the best arrangements. We also rebuilt the staircase, going from carpeted crap to nice hardwood stairs.

A Finished Den with new flooring
A Finished Den with New Flooring

This past weekend we started replacing on flooring on our main level. This is a little trickier as we have carpeting, old and worn wood parquet flooring in the dining room, and linoleum in the kitchen. We’re planning on replacing it all with one style of nail-down bamboo flooring. As with the den, we’re repainting the walls, but probably rehanging everything the way it was before so extra holes in freshly painted walls should be minimal… At some point we’ll work our way upstairs to the bedrooms and redo them also. A kitchen remodeling project is under negotiations.

It’ll all look nice when the work is completed.

As an unexpected bonus Winnie already picked some fresh greens from her garden this past weekend. The winter was so mild plants that normally die off survived are already growing. Having fresh garden greens in mid-March is a first for us living in Northern Virginia. Cherry trees are already starting to bloom in some areas so we might get some fresh cherries this year (we lost last year’s crop to fungus). I also had my inflatable kayak “Nemo” out Friday afternoon for a very early spring paddle.

All of this portends a long and busy spring/summer season ahead. I’m looking forward to it.

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